How to File for Hurricane Harvey Damages in Portland, Texas
Hurricane Harvey’s force left more than 300,000 impacted by lost or damaged property and power outages. With an estimated cost in excess of $150 billion, Harvey is the worst storm to make landfall here in at least twelve years, and perhaps as far back as the turn-of-the-century storm that erased Galveston. The area most affected was the Gulf’s Coastal Bend, of which Portland, Texas, is a part. As residents begin to start the process of assessing the damage and rebuilding, many are wondering how to file for Hurricane Harvey damages in Portland, Texas. We want to suggest five steps for you to take immediately. This might also be a good opportunity to speak with a lawyer experienced in working with hurricane victims.How to File for Hurricane Harvey Damages in Portland, Texas
- Contact Your Insurance Company. The most important first step in recovering from your losses is to contact your insurance company to initiate the claims process. Many of the larger insurance carriers will have set up special catastrophe departments to deal with claims specifically related to Hurricane Harvey. When you make your initial call, be sure to document the date and time of your call, who you spoke with, and any information you discuss.
- Take Photos and Video. When it’s safe to return to your property, document your damages with photos and video. The ability for our phones to take high quality photos and videos provides a tremendous asset in submitting proof of your damages to your insurance company. They’ll also be useful for your attorney, should hire one to represent your claim. You’ll also want to make a list of your damages, giving as much detail as possible.
- Mitigate Your Damages. Many insurance policies include a clause placing the expectation on the policyholder to minimize any additional and unnecessary damage that might occur. The nature of hurricane damage, along with the extensive rain and flooding it brings with it, increases the possibility of mold growth. Keeping safety as a top priority, do your best to remove items that could be further damaged, but keep cleanup to a bare minimum and avoid the temptation to throw away debris, as it be important evidence of your losses.
- Keep a Claim Journal. Document all conversations, damaged items, and hurricane-related expenses throughout your claim process. Pay particular attention to dates, times, and commitments made by your insurance company. This could be especially important should your insurance company delay payment or offer you a settlement lower than expected, and will help your attorney should you decide to hire one.
- Guard Against Fraud. After a hurricane as extensive as Harvey, disreputable contractors will make their way into Portland, Texas, to try and take advantage of those trusting and eager to have their property repaired or rebuilt. Be very wary of anyone offering quick and inexpensive service. It’s natural to want to restore your property quickly and economically, but patience is key. Don’t respond to the first contractor you speak with, and do your homework first.
We hope this helps you understand how to file for Hurricane Harvey Damages in Portland, Texas. Of course, there will be several other issues besides these to consider, but these are the best first steps for you to take. Don’t forget that with the extent of damage and the sheer number of the population affected by Hurricane Harvey, insurance companies are receiving thousands of Portland, Texas, hurricane claims. It’s important to remain patient and courteous with your insurance adjuster. If you do come to an impasse with them, though, don’t hesitate to seek help from an experienced Portland, Texas, hurricane insurance claims lawyer.
The dedicated team of attorneys at Carabin & Shaw is ready to help you during this difficult time of rebuilding in Portland, Texas. We know many people are uncertain about the future of their homes. When you need help getting your hurricane claim handled, let one of our lawyers help. Your first visit with us is free of charge, and we will work hard to make sure your insurance company pays everything you’re owed.
To schedule an appointment either in person or over the phone with one of our lawyers about your hurricane claim in Portland, Texas, give us a call today toll-free at 800-862-1260.